CAPEX Marines show their stuff aboard Camp Lejeune

26 Jul 2000 | Lance Cpl. Allan Grdovich

In midst of rain and occasional sunshine, various civilian and military dignitaries gathered here to witness the capabilities exercise also known as CAPEX, July 26.

CAPEX is a quarterly event that displays the maritime war-fighting capabilities of the Marine Corps.

Inclement weather did not hinder the excitement of the event, which kicked off with Marines and Sailors aboard Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicles sliding onto the shores of Onslow Beach along with other amphibious crafts.

?The purpose of every CAPEX is to show off what the Marine Corps can do by demonstrating the TRAP (Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel) capabilities of the MAGTF (Marine Air Ground Task Force). By the looks of the crowd, it seems they are enjoying the show,? said Helicopter Marine Medium-261 Capt. Herbert J. Lemon III.

Lemon, who is from Bridgewater, Mass., narrated the reenactment of the Scott O?Grady rescue where Marines, brought in by CH-46 helicopter and flanked by AH-1 Cobras, advanced upon enemy fire to intercept the injured Airman and fly him off to medical attention safely.

In conclusion of the LCAC landing and Airman O?Grady rescue, Reconnaissance Marines aboard Riverine Assault Crafts hopped off their boats and rushed upon the shore of Risley Pier to perform a hostage relief mission.

For a serious situation as a hostage crisis, time is of the essence, according to Sgt. Daniel Garcia, from Harlinge, Texas.

?The GCE (Ground Combat Element) is picked up by the RACs and brought to the site, which is to be secured. Recon is then dropped off and swiftly eliminates the enemy by sneaking on shore and catching them off guard. While this is in progress RAC and Zodiac boats are nearby for fire support. This tactic is used mainly to secure a hostage situation,? said Garcia.

With speed, power and maneuverability, the distinguished guest were given a first hand look at the many elite specialty mission capabilities the Marines have to offer. It is just another example of the Corps? continued excellence of maintaining the image of "any clime and place."